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- Music From The Monks Kitchen by The Monks Kitchen
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 19 December 2013
This is only the second record in The Monks Kitchen’s lengthy existence and the second following their debut back in 2007, and immediately the album has a lovely, natural, fireside sound to it. It's all gently strummed acoustic guitars and brushed drums, reminding me very much of the first Leisure Society record with its warming, twinkling night time sound. Yes, the Leisure Society were good once, please trust me on that.
Also please trust me that this record is well worth investigating; it's one part soundtrack to The Wickerman, one part Nick Cave-style acoustic lovelorn poetry, one part Bill Fox’s intimate campfire melancholy, and one part simply-spun English folk. It veers all over the place stylistically, some of the songs are simple instrumental vignettes yet there are more fully formed ideas on ‘Anyhow’ where vocals and twiddly guitar take a front seat. ‘Hollow of the Night’ has a Spanish feel whilst ‘The Raven’ is not unlike some of Matt Elliot’s solo compositions, but the delivery is hushed and heartfelt.
It's hard to pick out a highlight as it's all good in its own way and perfect for late night fireside Christmas listening. Very natural and free flowing, the album has the feel of turning up to a rural cottage on a dark winter night and finding a group of friends strumming away in the barn whilst people sit on the floor near the fire as the real ale flows.
A lovely, lovely record that I recommend highly.
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